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Cash or no cash, police remain on toes to tackle public outside banks in Jalandhar

Davinder Singh, a hawaldar stationed outside Punjab National Bank, Basti Danishmanda Branch, is busy handling and making people stand in queue as they argue with him to let them enter the bank.

punjab Updated: Nov 24, 2016 15:28 IST
Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times
Davinder Singh,Punjab National Bank,Basti Danishmanda Branch
Police officials trying to control the public standing in a queue at a bank in Basti Danishmanda in Jalandhar on Wednesday. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT Photo)

Davinder Singh, a hawaldar stationed outside Punjab National Bank, Basti Danishmanda Branch, is busy handling and making people stand in queue as they argue with him to let them enter the bank.

“It has become a major problem for us. To make the situation under control is not a cakewalk,” he laments.

The city police remain super active to tackle any untoward incident in the banks, two weeks after the announcement of demonetisation.

Incidents of chaos have made the police more vigilant outside banks as they continue to be on their toes. To add to the woes, due to unavailability of cash in banks, people losing their cool outside banks is a regular sight these days.

Cops arrive outside bank branches at 10 in the morning and remain till the banks get closed.

When HT visited Punjab National Bank, Danish Manda branch on Wednesday at 12.15 pm, the public was informed that the bank was out of cash which left them enraged.

The police then had to intervene to calm the customers.

A lady hawaldar at the bank said, “They (customers) fight with us, they don’t understand that we have nothing to do with any of the bank’s matter. If cash is not coming, we can’t do anything.”

A similar incident was reported outside this bank on Saturday morning when the notice which read ‘No cash available’ pasted was tore off by a group of people who were in a dire need of cash. The ladies reportedly started crying because of non availability of cash which was needed for their daughter’s marriage.

Minor clashes and protests were also reported outside Basti Guja branch of Punjab and Sind Bank.

Police officials standing outside the SBI main bank said that it becomes difficult to tackle people when we tell them that no money will be given or exchanged after 4.

“The moment the announcement of closing of the door is done, people become restless, that is the point where our actual work starts,” said Bachittar Singh who has been on duty at the bank for two weeks.

“But we can understand their problem as daily we meet people who are suffering and in a dire need of money,” he said.

Jugal Kishor, a hawaldar outside Punjab and Sind Bank Basti Guja said that the situation was completely different since last 13 days because people are suffering but he preferred dealing with people calmly.

“The moment I notice that there could be a clash, I try to handle the situation in a friendly manner, and I assure the customers that I understand their problem but they should not lose their calm, this is how the customers can be tackled,” he said.

Kishor added, “I had to miss a marriage in the family only to be on duty as it’s more important to be here and help the public.”


NAKODAR: All Banks in Nakodar, Shahkot sub-divisions and Nurmahal sub-tehsil are still facing problem of cash and most ATMs have failed to operate even after 15 days of the demonetisation announcement. Nurmahal branch of State Bank of India on Wednesday put a notice informing customers that they can withdraw only Rs 10,000. When confronted, chief manger Arwind Kumar said that he has transferred `7 crore to Ludhiana due to which the bank is facing cash problem.

Nakodar State Bank of India chief manager Rashpal Sidhu said that though he is not facing cash crunch but his recycling machine (ATM which also receives deposits) is closed since November 10 as he has instructions not to fill it with cash. He said that he has cleared seven cases of marriages without any recommendation. He added that most ATMs will become non operative due to cash shortage within few days.

Meanwhile, demonetisation has affected businesses too. Needo Textile Mill managing director Tarlok Bhatara said he could not pay salaries to his employees due to cash shortage.

First Published: Nov 24, 2016 15:27 IST